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Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasure Plans - In December 5, 2008, the Federal Register published EPA's final rule to amend the SPCC rule in order to provide increased clarity, to tailor requirements to particular industry sectors, and to streamline certain requirements for those facility owners or operators subject to the rule, which should result in greater protection to human health and the environment. Regulation: Oil Pollution Prevention; Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Rule Requirements - Amendments
As a cornerstone of EPA's strategy to prevent oil spills from reaching our nation's waters, the Agency requires that certain facilities develop and implement oil spill prevention, control, and countermeasures, or SPCC Plans. Unlike oil spill contingency plans that typically address spill cleanup measures after a spill has occurred, SPCC plans ensure that facilities put in place containment and other counter measures that would prevent oil spills that could reach navigable waters. Under EPA's Oil Pollution Prevention regulation, facilities must detail and implement spill prevention and control measures in their SPCC Plans. A spill contingency plan (40 CFR 112.20) is required as part of the SPCC Plan if a facility is unable to provide secondary containment (e.g., berms surrounding the oil storage tank).
Each SPCC plan, while unique to the facility it covers, must include certain elements. To ensure that facilities comply with the spill prevention regulations, EPA periodically conducts on-site facility inspections. EPA also requires owners and operators of facilities that experience two or more oil spills within a 12-month period to submit their SPCC Plans and other information to EPA for review.
A copy of the entire SPCC Plan must be maintained at the facility if the facility is normally attended for at least eight hours per day. Otherwise, it must be kept at the nearest field office. The SPCC Plan must be available to EPA for on-site review and inspection during normal working hours.
The Oil Pollution Prevention regulation requires that the SPCC Plan be carefully thought out, prepared in accordance with good engineering practices, and be approved by a person with the authority to commit the resources necessary to implement the SPCC Plan. The SPCC Plan should clearly address the following in their SPCC Plans. A spill contingency plan (40 CFR 112.20) is required as part of the SPCC Plan if a facility is unable to provide secondary containment (e.g., berms surrounding the oil storage tank).
Each SPCC plan, while unique to the facility it covers, must include certain li>
Each SPCC Plan must be unique to the facility. Development of a unique SPCC Plan requires detailed knowledge of the facility and the potential effects of any oil spill. Each SPCC plan, while unique to the facility it covers, must include certain standard elements to ensure compliance with the regulations. These elements include:
An SPCC Plan should include the following information and should follow the sequence outlined below:
The SPCC Plan should include a demonstration of management's approval and should be certified by a registered professional engineer
Under EPA's oil spill prevention regulations, a facility's SPCC Plan must discuss how the facility conforms with the oil spill prevention and containment procedures established for that type of facility or operation. The SPCC regulations provide spill prevention and control measures specific to the different types of onshore oil facilities or operations, including:
The references to "40 CFR 112" are references to the actual regulatory text from a part of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Facilities that spill more than 1,000 gallons of oil into navigable waters or onto adjoining shorelines in a single incident, or have two reportable oil spills within any 12-month period, must submit the following information to the appropriate EPA Regional Administrator within 60 days from the time the spill occurs:
EPA Regional Administrators will review this information and may require the facility owner or operator to amend the SPCC Plan if it does not meet the regulations or if an amendment is necessary to prevent and contain oil spills from the facility. Facility owners or operators are provided an opportunity to submit written information, views, and arguments on the proposed amendment, and may appeal a Regional Administrator's final decision. Appeals are made to the Administrator of the EPA.
EPA Regional personnel periodically go on-site to inspect facilities subject to the Oil Pollution Prevention regulation. The inspections have two purposes. First, inspections help to ensure that oil storage facilities comply with the regulations. Second, on-site inspections give EPA personnel the opportunity to educate owners and operators about the regulation and methods for ensuring compliance. In many cases, EPA notifies the facility owner or operator of the inspection prior to arriving at the facility. Announced inspections ensure the availability of appropriate facility people and build a conducive working relationship between the Agency and the facility. However, EPA occasionally conducts unannounced facility inspections in order to gauge a facility's preparedness to prevent or respond to an oil spill.
Once at the facility, EPA inspectors may ask to review the SPCC Plan and the Facility Response Plan and conduct a walk-through inspection of the facility to ensure that the facility has implemented spill prevention and response measures. In addition, EPA may interview facility personnel on the SPCC and Facility Response Plans and their role in implementing them.
In some cases, the EPA finds that facilities are in compliance; however, when the Agency encounters a facility that violates the oil spill prevention regulations, EPA has the authority under the Clean Water Act to assess an administrative penalty. In dealing with out of compliance facilities, however, the EPA generally strives to work together with facility owners and operators to remedy any problems identified.
How is oil defined?
Section 311(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act defines "oil" as "oil of any kind or in any form including, but not limited to, petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, oil refuse, and oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil." EPA interprets this definition to include crude oil, petroleum and petroleum-refined products, as well as non-petroleum oils such as vegetable and animal oils.
What are navigable waters?
Navigable waters are broadly defined under the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act to include all waters that are used in interstate or foreign commerce, all interstate waters including wetlands, and all intrastate waters, such as lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds. Essentially, the term navigable waters refers to any natural surface water in the U.S.
How is the term "facility" defined?
"Facility" is defined as any mobile or fixed, onshore building, structure, installation, equipment, pipe, or pipeline used in oil well drilling operations (excluding offshore), oil production, oil refining, oil storage, or waste treatment. The boundaries of a facility may depend on several site-specific factors, such as the ownership or operation of buildings, structures, and equipment on the same site and the types of activity at the site.
What do "applicable water quality standards" refer to?
Under the Discharge of Oil regulations, the term "applicable water quality standards" means the state water quality standards adopted by the state and approved or promulgated by EPA under section 303 of the Clean Water Act.
What is a "Sheen"?
A "sheen" refers to an iridescent appearance on the surface of water.
What is a "sludge"?
A "sludge" means an aggregate of oil or oil and other matter of any kind in any form other than dredged spoil having a combined specific gravity equivalent to or greater than water.
On July 17th, 2002, EPA issued a final rule amending the Oil Pollution Prevention regulation promulgated under the authority of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act). This rule addresses requirements for Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans (SPCC Plans) and some provisions may also affect Facility Response Plans (FRPs). EPA proposed revisions to the SPCC rule on three occasions, in 1991, 1993, and 1997. The new SPCC rule addresses these revisions and will become effective August 16, 2002. The Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule can be found in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 112 (Oil Pollution Prevention)
More information about the new rule...